I never cease to be amazed at the way golf balls keep evolving. I mean, when you think about it, it would seem the laws of physics, available materials, and rules restrictions would one day bring innovation to a halt. But that's not so. Every year we are treated to new versions with new feel and new performance characteristics.
Pinnacle has long been established as the leading low-priced, long distance ball. As one of the first two-piece balls to hit the market, it was one of the balls players used to call "rocks." But that's no longer an apt moniker. In fact the current Pinnacle marketing mantra is "Distance Doesn't Have to be Hard."
Low-priced distance balls have become softer and a lot more playable. And now there are five new Pinnacle versions to suit your game and your pocketbook including two aimed at the better player. Here's a look at the new lineup…
Platinum Feel and Platinum Distance
George Sine, the vice president of golf ball marketing for Achusnet whom we interviewed on our podcast when the new Pro V1 balls were introduced, says the all-new Pinnacle Platinum line improves on the previous Exception model in that they are both softer and longer. These two balls represent the top of the Pinnacle line.
The new Platinum Feel is aimed at the better player looking for value. It has the softer feel thanks to a soft, thin cover formulation with a large 1.595" core. It also has a new high-coverage 332 icosahedral dimple design for consistent ball flight.
The new Platinum Distance ball spins less and is a little firmer. It has a slightly smaller core at 1.565" and a slightly thicker cover. It shares the 332 dimple pattern.
Both models have a new alignment side stamp much like the new model Titleist balls this year, although Pinnacle refrains from giving it an acronym like "AIM Technology." So good for Pinnacle.
Gold FX Soft and Gold FX Long
The Pinnacle Gold line has been updated with two new balls, the FX Soft and FX Long. The Pinnacle Gold FX Soft has a new, softer Surlyn cover with a soft compression and a resilient core and comes with a cut-proof guarantee. Both balls also have the new alignment line.
Pinnacle says the Golf FX Long is their longest ball to date and is meant for players looking for all out distance. It's the official ball of the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship and features the Pinnacle Posse, including 5-time long drive champion Jason Zuback, on the packaging. It's claimed to be the longest conforming golf ball available.
The new Pinnacle Ribbon balls are aimed at women golfers and come in both white and clear pink versions. The new ball has a softer Surlyn cover along with a soft compression resilient core.
Pinnacle continues to participate as a member of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Million Dollar Council dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer. Thus, pink is the color theme on these balls with a pink play number and pink ribbon and Komen for the Cure logo on the side.
Price and Availability
The new Pinnacle line is shipping to stores right now. The Platinum Feel and Platinum Distance balls will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $22 a dozen with a minimum advertised price (MAP) of $17.99.
The Pinnacle Gold FX Soft, Gold FX Long, and Pinnacle Ribbon balls will have a MSRP of $17 for a 15-ball pack with a MAP of $14.99.
In the End…
It struck me that the $14.99 MAP price for a 15-pack of Pinnacle Golf FX and Ribbon balls is about what Titleist balls went for back in the 60s when I took up the game. And that got me thinking about the $45 a dozen price that some complain about for Titleist balls today. Using the Consumer Price Index to adjust for inflation, those one-dollar Titleist balls in 1962 would be worth $6.66 each today, or roughly $80 a dozen.
And that, to me, makes the price of the Pinnacle balls all the more amazing. Given the price and the performance claims for this new line, I just might put one of these models in play and see what it can do for my game.